Blogging is sometimes like a message into the future. For me it’s Thursday. For you it’s Saturday morning. Three days can make a huge difference in this game. Hindsight is a powerful thing, little good it does me here in the past but for you, my time traveling planeswalking friends, hindsight is a wonderful learning tool.

What am I getting at?

Rotation is at hand. You’ll be playing a new standard deck soon. Maybe you’re a madman and its FNM. To those brave few we’ll play very close attention for the next couple of days. “What did you play?”” What did you play against?” “What took down the tourney?” “What would you have changed in your deck?” The questions are endless. It’s all hindsight.

Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.

I admittedly had a really tough time with rotation last year. Standard success was always on the horizon for me. A few times I would win a tourney and then the next week I’d be totally confounded. This year I’m taking a different approach. While I’m taking a different approach I should explain to you my old approach.

The old approach was to just play control until it was good. Fundamentally this was ok. But it meant that every few weeks my deck was great while 2/3 of the time my deck was total garbage. This meant 2/3 of the time I knew my bad deck better than anyone else at the tourney. And that was worth something. 1/3 of the time I knew my very good deck better than anyone. Those tourneys I won. Some folks go months in their magic careers between wins. So it was fine, but I’d like a better result this time around.

What’s different about my approach now?

After watching standard cycle from aggro decks to reanimator and control and settling at mid range I think I’m ready to realize that decks are like tools, each one is important for a different tournament. This is different than say understanding that a meta game exists. I understand now that some week’s meta game’s are similar to previous weeks based on coverage of big events. This all seems basic I know. But it can be hard to look outside the bubble once you find a deck you like. Establishing a break from the fear of change is a pretty large step in my growth as a player. Sure I want to counter your spells and cast my win condition but some weeks that’s not the best way to win. One interesting thing about playing through last year’s rotation is that I can look back at my win percentage and try to improve it.

So I have another deck list for you before real decks come out.


Lands: (23)
Temple of Mystery
Temple Garden
Breeding Pool
Hallowed Fountain

Creatures: (18)
Fiendslayer Paladin
Elvish Mystic
Daxos of Meletis
Fabled Hero
Voice of Resurgence

Spells: (19)
Unflinching Courage
Ethereal Armor
Commune with the Gods
Alpha Authority
Ordeal of Thassa
Aqueous Form

A lot of folks have given up on hexproof as a viable deck. This means so much for us. It’s a an archetype that no one will be playing which means no one will be ready for it. Main deck edict effects should be at an all time low.

The Dudes: We lost Geist and Invisible stalker.

I know it’s tragic. But there are actually still good targets for your auras. Fiendslayer Paladin seems very well positioned for the first few weeks of what is generally a red creature and spell based meta. He’s basically hexproof versus Doom Blade and burn spells that should be running rampant. Life gain he provides should win races against those decks quite easily. Speaking of life gain, our new buddy Daxos seems like he could take Geist of Saint Traft‘s place. He’s another creature that demands you build a certain kind of deck for. Is he a giant lightning rod? (Yes, it’s a fact he’s asking you to kill him before I enchant the bejesus out of him. That’s fine so is Elvish Mystic and Voice of Resurgence and Fabled Hero. How much creature kill do you play? Something is gonna die. Look it’s all about getting something sweet on a guy and crushing your opponent. They will play their game you will play yours.) So is Daxos sticks and gets in either through virtue of Aqueous Form or just cuz he gets through. You gain a little life. Maybe you play a card from your opponents deck. That’s pretty sweet. In a race that matters. Voice is an obvious choice for this deck to provide help after a wrath and choices for your opponents edicts. Fabled Hero is our answer for Silverblade Paladin. Just targeting him with enchantments (Aqueous Form and Alpha Authority seem good) pumps him. This means a turn two Hero can swing (in magical Christmas land) for 12 lifelink on turn 3 with Aqueous Form and Unflinching Courage. That’s not nothing. Say it with me haters…. IF HE LIVES.

The Auras: We lost Spectral Flight and Curiosity.

Unflinching Courage is still outstanding here. Now we have a utility enchantments that serves similar purpose to both Spectral flight and Curiosity: Aqueous Form. Stop whining I know that Spectral Flight offers a power boost as well as evasion. It’s a different world. Things change, so change or die. It’s not the same deck. But and all these reasons alone would not have me playing this deck if it weren’t for one card.

Commune with the Gods: The Grisly Salvage for Hexproof.

Have you heard the good news, my brothers and sisters? Seriously, I bet that this sees play in Modern Auras. It’s so good. My major complaint about playing Auras in standard was my often one sided hands and the constant mulling. It was a deck that could mull well or punish you. (Once I beat Richard Tan on a mull to 4 with no land basically skipping my first turn. It was glorious.) Seriously this card was the missing link. Being able to dig for pretty much what you need when you need it is so important this card with smooth opening hands and help migrate the “scoop effect” after a wrath.

There’s plenty of room here for change. Fleecemane Lion is a strong card, and I think Boon Saytr could be very good here as well. There’s a strong argument for playing just two colors here. I just really like having a true way to be unblockable with the loss of Invisible Stalker.

That’s my final deck list before Theros gets legal. I have you 3 control decks, a reanimator a tempo deck and a good old fashioned uninteractive hexproof deck. As I said its now Saturday for you. Would any of these have been good in your LGS?

Zac Clark, Durdle Magus

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